Our Agenda: Build a Georgia Where Families Can Thrive, Businesses Can Grow, and Every Georgian – No Matter Their Station in Life – Has the Opportunity to Achieve Their Own American Dream.
Economy & Jobs
In the wake of the financial crisis during the Great Recession, Georgia entered the month of January 2011 with a staggering unemployment rate of 10.4 percent. Times were tough for families across the state of Georgia, but through hard work and determination Georgia Republicans pulled our state out of economic downturn, and today it is recognized as a beacon for economic opportunity for the rest of the country.
At the beginning of 2020, Georgia’s unemployment rate was at its lowest in recorded history at 3.3 percent and our home has been named the #1 state to do business for 7 years in a row. Georgia’s economic vitality stands as testament to the hard work and leadership of Governor Brian Kemp, Speaker David Ralston, and the entire House Republican Caucus. Continuing in the steps of Governor Deal, Governor Kemp added over 64,000 jobs, and announced over 370 economic development projects in 2019—most of which are outside of the Metro Atlanta region in rural communities across the state.
While these last few months have been tough on Georgia’s economy in the wake of COVID-19, you can rest assured that the House Republican Caucus will lead our state through these uncertain times. Georgia is resilient and will continue to be the best state in which to live, work, and raise a family.
Every Georgia child deserves a world-class education, and our caucus continues to work to make that belief a reality. Year after year, Georgia’s education system continues to improve: our high school graduation rate is at an all-time high of 82 percent, an increase of 12 percent since 2012, we have enacted innovative reforms to improve 105 failing schools across the state to get them back on the right track, and we continue to dedicate additional funds to our public education system every year.
Georgia is blessed to have over 114,000 career teachers and administrators serving every day to shape the minds of the next generation. Our teachers are the cornerstone of our education system, and our caucus understands that it is imperative to give these dedicated men and women the resources they need to succeed inside and outside the classroom.
Every Georgian deserves affordable access to quality health care—no matter their zip code. That is why our caucus has made health care a top priority in recent years, tackling big issues like maternal mortality, transparency in health care systems, reducing the amount of surprise billing, and ensuring reform to industries like Pharmacy Benefit Managers. This session our caucus, along with Governor Kemp and the Department of Public Health, made it a priority to fight COVID-19 by prioritizing funding within the budget and passing bills that bring relief to Georgians. The House Republican Caucus will continue to fight for conservative solutions that help all Georgians live happier, healthier lives.
As Georgia’s population and economy continues to grow, the demands on our state’s transportation infrastructure will only increase. While Georgia has committed $10 billion over the next 10 years to surface road improvements through the passage of HB 170 in 2015, our state continues to face unique infrastructure challenges moving forward:
• Metro Atlanta: In the metro Atlanta region, we can no longer simply rely on bigger roads to relieve traffic congestion. To remain economically competitive, Georgia must identify pragmatic transit solutions that provide commuters with cost-effective alternatives to the traditional automobile commute. That is why in 2018, our caucus championed legislation that created the Atlanta Transit Link Authority, also known as the ATL, which will work to help relieve transit issues across the region.
• Port of Savannah: One of Georgia’s greatest economic assets is the Port of Savannah – the fastest growing port in the United States as well as the largest single container terminal in North America. As larger and more numerous ships call on our port, we must ensure our state’s road and rail infrastructure have the capability to move increased freight to market.
• Rural Communities: The economic vitality of our rural communities requires that we continue to invest in infrastructure improvements that assist these regions in attracting new business and growth.
Budget & Taxes
Each legislative session, the House Republican Caucus’ #1 priority is passing a budget that demonstrates to every hard-working Georgian our commitment to being responsible stewards of their tax dollars. Since the Great Recession, we have worked diligently to budget conservatively and at the end of 2019 we built our state’s Revenue Shortfall Reserve fund (a.k.a our Rainy Day fund) to a little over $2.8 billion. Because of this fiscal responsibility, $100 million of the Rainy Day fund was used for emergency relief efforts against the Coronavirus. Georgia also continues to receive an ‘AAA’ Bond rating from all three credit rating agencies – one of nine states that currently meet this standard.
While our counterparts in Washington continue to struggle to balance the national budget, Georgia taxpayers can rest assured that our caucus will always fight for conservative budgets that keep taxes low!
Public Safety & 2nd Amendment
Our caucus has worked tirelessly to advance common sense, conservative legislation that strengthens our 2nd Amendment Rights and protects Georgia’s sporting heritage. Our caucus believes in the right of every Georgian to defend his or herself and their family from danger, and we will continue to work to protect our right to “keep and bear arms.”
During the 2017 Session, the Georgia House Republican Caucus took the first step in a multi-year initiative aimed at revitalizing and empowering the rural communities across our state. Recognizing the unique needs of the millions of Georgians living outside our metropolitan regions, our caucus spearheaded the formation of the House Rural Development Council (RDC).
Since the creation of the RDC, House Republicans have championed bills and initiatives based on the findings of the council that will bring better access to broadband, quality healthcare, workforce training, and education. The Rural Development Council was renewed to continue its work during the 2019 legislative session.